Fred Griffin
Nobody is Buying Electric Vehicles
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GM sells just 281 Chevy Volts in February, Nissan only moves 67 Leafs

Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf
Peruse Chevrolet's February sales release, and you’ll notice one number that’s blatantly missing: the number of Chevy Volts sold. The number – a very modest 281 – is available in the company’s detailed data (PDF), but it certainly isn’t something that GM wants to highlight, apparently. Keeping the number quiet is a bit understandable, since it’s lower than the 321 that Chevy sold in January.
Nissan doesn’t have anything to brag about here, either (and it didn’t avoiding any mention of the Leaf sales in its press release). Why? Well, back in January, the company sold 87 Leafs. In February? Just 67. Where does that leave us? Well, here’s the big scorecard for all sales of these vehicles thus far:
  • Volt: 928
  • Leaf: 173
The Ethanol Scam: Damaged Engines, No Environmental Benefit
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End the Ethanol Insanity: Ed Wallace

Ethanol damages engines and is not a viable alternative to fossil fuels, but farmers and lobbyists don’t want you to know that

"First-generation [corn] ethanol, I think, was a mistake. The energy conversion ratios are at best very small." —Al Gore, speaking at a green energy conference on Nov. 22, 2010

"Ethanol is not an ideal transportation fuel. The future of transportation fuels shouldn’t involve ethanol." —Energy Secretary Steven Chu, Nov. 29, 2010

It is now conceivable that the myth of ethanol as the salvation for America’s energy problem is coming to an end. And maybe we always should have known it would wind up in italics, underlined, with the real facts of the damage ethanol can do to gas-powered motors laid out for all to see in a court of law. I say that because this past Monday a group calling itself the Engine Products Group, comprising small-engine manufacturers, automakers, and boat manufacturers, filed suit in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia to vacate the EPA’s October ruling that using a 15 percent blend of ethanol in the nation’s fuel supplies would not harm 2007 and newer vehicles.

Each group of plaintiffs in this case has a different reason for objecting to putting more ethanol into America’s gasoline. The automakers claim they have no idea whether a higher percentage of ethanol would damage their newer cars—and won’t know until their testing is completed next year. The boat manufacturers claim their engines stay in service much longer, and are therefore more likely to be damaged by this fuel. The small-engine manufacturers are positive E15 would severely shorten the life of their products. According to The Washington Post, that’s already been happening. The source is Mick Matuskey, co-owner of Power and Lawn Equipment of Gaithersburg, Md., who said, “You’re getting half of the life out of the product today [when using E10 ethanol], compared to 30, 40 years ago.”

Energy Tax Credits - You Have 2 Months Remaining
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NAHB Reminds Consumers to Renovate Now Before Energy Tax Credits Expire

October 27, 2010 - Home owners have two more months to take advantage of tax credits that can help them save energy and reduce their utility bills with more energy-efficient windows and doors, insulation, and heating and cooling equipment, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).

"Our members are ready to help consumers make the best choices for their homes, but home owners should act soon if they want to qualify for up to $1,500 in tax credits when they complete their 2010 income tax returns," said NAHB Remodelers Chair Donna Shirey, a remodeler and builder in Issaquah, Wash.

"We think it would be a great benefit to both the environment and to our economy to extend these tax benefits, but they are scheduled to expire at the end of the year," Shirey noted. "For that reason, NAHB suggests that home owners get the work done before Dec. 31, while the tax credits are still available."

The tax credit for efficiency upgrades in existing homes (Internal Revenue Code Section 25C) is available for 30 percent of the cost, up to a $1,500 limit for 2009 and 2010, for the installation of certain types of insulation, windows, roofs, water heaters, heat pumps, air conditioners and furnaces. Details on the kinds of products that qualify and instructions for obtaining the credit are available at

A tax credit available under tax code section 25D is also available for equipment that uses renewable energy, such as wind, solar, geothermal or fuel cells. Like the 25C credit, the 25D credit can be used for up to 30 percent of the cost of qualifying products, but there is no lifetime limit and the program does not expire until the end of 2016.

To find a remodeler or other contractor to help you with your weatherization or home renovation project, contact your local home builders association at To learn more about the tax credit program, go to